Not everyone is called to adopt, but everyone is called to love.
Orphan Justice begins with these words:
“Imagine children lined up shoulder to shoulder all the way around the earth’s equator. Now consider that all of the orphaned kids in the world would not fit in that line. There are too many of them.”
UNICEF estimates that there are more than 153 million orphans and vulnerable children in the world today. Don’t read over that number quickly . . . 153 million children have lost one or both parents.
I love how the Johnny Carr’s personal adoption story began:
I heard (Beth call), “Johnny?!” It was that all too familiar tone that communicates, “Honey, I really want something and you are going to think that I am crazy for asking but I am going to sound so sweet that you will not be able to resist it.”
I laughed out loud when I read those words. Come on girls, you know we’ve all done it. And if you don’t want to admit it, ask the guy in your life….
Johnny and Beth Carr have adopted three deaf children since that conversation, and Johnny has become the national director of Church Partnerships at Bethany Christian Services. The largest adoption and orphan care agency in the U.S.
Passionate about orphan care, Carr does not sugar-coat the issues faced by orphans or the challenges faced by adoptive families.
Orphaned children are vulnerable to:
- Poverty – “Poverty is not just a lack of food. It’s a culture of hopelessness, a culture that produces orphans.”
- Human Trafficking – “Trafficked children and adolescents become victims of abuse, rape, torture, starvation, and exploitation of all kinds.”
- Orphanages – “As Christians, we must not simply be satisfied with a child living his or her entire childhood in an orphanage.”
- Foster Care – “When you hear stories of kids being placed with five, ten, or twenty different foster families, it’s no exaggeration. There is nothing healthy about this for a child.”
- HIV/AIDS – “Every three minutes, a child dies from AIDS somewhere in the world. Many orphans are particularly affected by this disease. Robbed of their parents, stigmatized . . . orphaned.”
- Racism – “We must be willing to invest in relationship, have gut-honest conversations, listen carefully, seek to understand, and love our neighbors.” (Of all races.)
Lord, protect the orphans and put an end to suffering so they will no longer be afraid of evil people. Psalm 10:18
We are the Lord’s hands and feet in this world.
We are called to protect and defend orphans, and to raise awareness in our churches and communities.
We are commanded to love like Jesus.
Please read, Orphan Justice by Johnny Carr and Laura Captari. You and I must learn more about how we can help children and support families. We need to know that…
No one can do everything, but everyone can do something.
You can order Orphan Justice at Amazon.com, ChristianBook.com, and Lifeway.com.